Sparkless Bot |
Professional Male Model
Transformers Generations War for Cybertron Trilogy Walmart Exclusive Netflix Deluxe
Item No.: Asst. E9489 No. F0986
Includes: Light bar, blasters
Action Feature: Transforms from Robot to Car
Availability: March 2021
Other: Brown shoes do make it. Or, another Handsome Boy graduate.
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While boxed as a Decepticon, Sparkless Bot appeared on leaked lists as "Barricade" - which seems accurate. He's got the unique helmet head and the twin blasters for the hood, so this is totally the same configuration as Barricade [FOTD #2,228] from 2020. Since Barricade was very much alive in the Netflix cartoon, this is clearly someone else who is very dead. The character had little to do on the show, but it's an awesome toy. I assume collectors will go nuts for this one over time, but in the short term kids will be disappointed that Hasbro is trying to sell them what amounts to a gorgeous designer toy for $18.
This figure is sort of a new character, and sort of a generic, and sort of an army builder. If you get in close you'll see the paint job on the grey plastic body is mostly dots - so these should all be uniform, unlike the unique color swipes on Scrapface. If it wasn't obvious, I'm recommending that you buy a Sparkless Bot.
Since this is a toy of a character with no precedent outside a silent cameo as one of a horde of sparkless undead robots, it's perfect. The TV show just took existing animation models, slapped on new textures, and presto - the sparkless exist. This one snuck up on Moonracer, which was just a slightly different blue Chromia, which was not at all obvious. The grey plastic robot has purple eyes and rusty car parts, but not a lot of deco in general - and it works here. It's like all the life had been drained from it, and it has the same articulation as previous releases of the mold - about 22 moving joints, most of which are involved in the transformation to rust bucket mode. The blasters can fit in his fists or his torso, and of course you can cover this guy with C.O.M.B.A.T. blast effects if you want.
Right now, this is novel. With Sparkless Seeker on the horizon, it's still novel - but if every mold we ever get ends up this way, I could see it getting old fast. As one-offs here and there, it's a neat idea. Hasbro used to do a lot of clear blue (or purple) "Holographic" and "Spirit" figures, so finding something like this - a deco you can apply to any mold and make it a new, sellable thing of merit - can go a long way.
The car is unlike anything we've really seen from Hasbro - although I guess there was a very hard-to-find farm battle Optimus Prime from Age of Extinction that never got widespread release. Normally Hasbro's idea of a beater is a few splotches of paint - a scrape, a scratch, a black dot that looks like mold. In this case, the car is entirely covered in paint. It's not unique to each one (sadly), as the incredibly detailed pattern seems printed on with the same kind of process used for the "photo real" faces in Star Wars and Marvel Legends - you can see little tiny dots if you get real close.
The shoe-like not-a-Datsun has had four other recolors already, and I'm quite pleased to see they figured out a way to do something else with it. The wheels are dark transparent black, just like the windshield and the light bar. I'd rather they all be opaque, but that's me. The windows are too nice for a dead, rusted-out bucket of bols but it still works.
The grey robot parts are boring grey plastic and the car parts may well be the most ornate paint on any Autobot or Decepticon this year. While the toy has no faction logos, the box says he's a purple face and the end results are pretty great. It's like an expensive custom or designer toy, but it's cheap and at Walmart. I'd be eager to see what else Hasbro may come up with - normally repaints make me cranky, but this is new enough. And an army builder. Also a good mold. If you see it, and are amused at having something that looks like it's been rusting in your back yard, run to the register with it when you find one.
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